|EVGA Geforce GTX275 CO-OP PhysX Edition|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by David Ramsey - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 08 February 2010|
Page 10 of 14
Darkest of Days Benchmark
Darkest of Days is a new first-person shooter developed by 8monkey Labs. It takes players through five classic battles in five different time periods: you'll find yourself in Pompeii, Antietam, World War I, World War II, and Little Big Horn. You'll fight with period-correct weaponry but will occasionally have the ability to bring futuristic weapons like laser-sighted pulse guns into play.
8monkey Labs developed the Marmoset game engine specifically for this game. Marmoset has features such as image-based lighting (where HDR photographs can be used to define light sources) and the ability to support hundreds of active characters on the screen during battle scenes. It's optimized for large outdoor environments, supports skeletal animation for characters, has a variety of post-processing effects (including motion blur, bloom, and SSAO), and of course includes support for PhysX. The engine's AI system can support simple behaviors for hundreds of characters at once and still provide higher-level AI for one-on-one encounters with the player.
The Darkest of Days demo includes a built-in benchmark feature. Settings were 8x anti-aliasing, 16x anisotropic filtering, graphics details set to Very High, and PhysX effects set to High. SSAO was left off.
The Darkest of Days demo washes your screen in dust kicked up by galloping horses, smoke and debris from explosions, blazing fires, and leaves blown through the air...all of which are calculated with PhysX. The game is just a slide show with the CPU trying to shoulder the burden, and the Marmoset engine obviously puts much more of a strain on the GPU than the older Unreal Engine, but the advantage of a dedicated PhysX processor is just as evident: frame rates jump by 58% at 1680x1050 and 32% at 1920x1200 when moving PhysX from the GTX 275 to the GTS 250. As with Batman: Arkham Asylum, dedicating a GTX 280 to PhysX results in little improvement over the GTS 250, with a 5% frame rate increase at 1680x1050 and an 8% increase at 1920x1200. Testing with the Radeon 5870 performing rendering and the CPU performing PhysX resulted in the same 1.3 frame per second achieved with the GTX 275 rendering and CPU running PhysX. Again, rendering power just doesn't make a difference in these cases.